“Brexit had an adverse impact (…) For Portugal, Brexit was not good news”, he said, stating that “some exports were very negatively affected”.

Although he admits that it is difficult to quantify the economic damage caused by Brexit because the pandemic also had consequences, the minister said that exports from Portugal to the United Kingdom were harmed, namely automotive and textile components.

According to the Association of Manufacturers for the Automotive Industry (AFIA), in the period between January and November 2021, exports to the United Kingdom fell by 49.9 percent compared to the same period in 2019, the period before the pandemic.

The newspaper cites statistics for 2021 that show that while Portugal's exports to the European Union (EU) increased by 1.3 percent, to the United Kingdom they fell by more than 15 percent.

The value of goods imported from the UK dropped by 56 percent, compared with a 10.3 percent drop for the remaining 26 member countries.

“The UK is one of our main trading partners, one of our main investment partners”, stressed Siza Vieira.

The two countries celebrate the 650th anniversary of the Luso-British Alliance this year, the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world, which was first formalised with the signing of the Treaty of Tagilde on July 10, 1372.